There are limited seats in the intimate San Geronimo Valley Community Center venue and advance purchase is recommended. Partial proceeds benefit the SGVCC food bank. San Geronimo Valley Community Center is located in a historic building in the rolling hills of West Marin. Easy to find at 6350 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., it has plentiful parking and a reputation for a warm welcoming environment. The performances take place in a gallery featuring a print-making show and adjacent to a fully restored historic Works Progress Administration mural by Maurice del Mue. There are breathtaking hikes and biking as well as stellar restaurants and activities for those who want to make a day of it.
Hannah: You've talked about the influence of some comedy greats including Gilda Radner, Carole Burnett and Lily Tomlin on your comedy - how have they influenced your work?
Betsy: I have been in the same room as Carol Burnett and Lily Tomlin (2 different rooms), but was too shy to talk with them. When I was young I would watch them, Lucille Ball and Gilda Radner on TV and laugh and laugh and then imitate them and their characters. They made it seem like a perfectly respectable thing for a grown woman to be. The more grotesque and slapstick, the more I loved it. And later I loved the really smart stuff too. Roseanne was the first stand up that I loved and she hired me because she loved my stand up, so that was huge.
Hannah: Who are some of the most exciting performers you have worked with, shared the stage with, opened for?
Betsy: If you're going to force me to drop names I'd have to say the most exciting night of my career was at the Comedy Store in LA at a Comedy Awards after-party; I met Roseanne, she invited me to perform and introduced me; I then walked off the stage and sat with her, Jennifer Saunders, and Joanna Lumley. I don't think I slept that night. It was also pretty cool when Robin Williams attended one of my shows and was very complementary.
Hannah: What was it like to work on the sitcom Roseanne?
Betsy: It was life-changing. I was already a huge fan of the show -- Darlene Connor (Sara Gilbert) was my teen idol (well into my 30s) - she was the first girl character I'd seen on TV that I could relate to, and writing for the show was the greatest opportunity I had been given. Here was someone whose humor I loved who asked me to write for her. I learned that I was capable of much more than I thought. It also helped me to stop living off of my credit card scheme (which I was able to do successfully because of my business school degree). As for what it was like on a day to day level, I sat around with a lot of funny people and ate candy and wrote jokes
Hannah: You have had a long successful career in comedy - not to date myself but I first saw you perform in my early 20's - what's the secret of your staying power?
Betsy: I haven't died yet.
Hannah: There's talk about the Federal Reserve Bank and whether they might raise interest rates - have you got a joke about that?
Betsy: I do have a bit about my time working as a Federal Reserve Bank Examiner. It will not give anyone more faith in the economy.
Hannah: Can comedy change the world?
I sure hope so. I know in my house growing up if you could tell the right joke you could avoid getting hit. Not so much "make me laugh or I'll hit you," more like if you could make the angry person laugh, then they weren't angry anymore. I'd love to think that works on a larger scale.
Hannah: Tell us about one of the most interesting shows or venues where you have performed and why?
Betsy: I think the funniest show I ever did was at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. My friend Deb Doetzer (from my improv/sketch days) and I performed as Sigfried and Roy in a show about cross-dressing called "Fear and Clothing." Her (enormous) cats played the tigers (one orange, one white), and we had cheap pyrotechnics (flash paper and sparklers). Everything went wrong. The cats escaped into the audience which was oversold and we couldn't find them, The sparkler fell between the floorboards, we had to go wildly off script and while Deb (Sigfried - she's blonde) improv'd through the show I was basically Harvey Korman to her Tim Conway, shaking with laughter with my back turned to the audience to try to reign myself in - unsuccessfully. The audience loved it as much as we did.
Hannah: If you were queen of the world what are three things you would change?
Betsy: The patriarchy is over.
No more parenting without a license.
isn't that enough?
Hannah: What are the top 3 reasons every person living in Marin and then some should be at your show on Saturday, October 5th at 8pm at the San Geronimo Valley Community Center?
2. Cheap tix, no drink minimum (actually, no drinks) and free parking
3. Last chance to see the Squirrel Lady herself live in Northern CA this year.
Discount advance tickets are available while they last until midnight October 4th. Get yours now!
Betsy Salkind is an actress, comedian, writer and former
drummer for the PHENOBARBIDOLLS. She was a founding member of the TERRORIST
BRIDESMAIDS (4 comediennes determined to get a second use out of those
dresses), and alumna of the improv troupe GUILTY CHILDREN and the sketch comedy
group THE OTHER WHITE MEAT.
She was also a staffwriter for "SATURDAY NIGHT SPECIAL" and "ROSEANNE" (the sitcom), and a jokewriter for Anthony Robbins. She is a regular at NY's Comic Strip and LA's Comedy Store, and has appeared on "Girls Night Out," "Stand-Up, Stand-Up," "ARLI$$," "Pet Shop with Andy Kindler," the "TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO," and most recently in the SHOWTIME special "Fierce Funny Women."
She has written and performed 3 one woman shows to date, including "ALL MY LIFE" (the darkest comedy this side of hope), "MASTER OF SCIENCE" (an irreverent look at science and scientists), and most recently "ANNE FRANK SUPERSTAR: THE ETHEL SPILIOTES STORY" (a satire of Anne Franxploitation). Born in Troy, New York and razed in Connecticut and Virginia, she was not the funny one in her family. As a child she put on plays with her brothers in which she was always cast as the wicked witch or cruel stepsister.
She graduated from MIT with a BS and a Master's degree from the Sloan School of Management. Her master's thesis was titled: "Can't You Take A Joke? A Study of Sexual Harassment Among Peers." Preferring the security of the arts, she left her career as a Federal Reserve Bank Examiner to become a comedian. She is perhaps best know for her squirrel impression, but refuses to be pigeonholed as a squirrel.
She is currently developing an animated series based on Ethel, the lead character from Anne Frank Superstar, as well as a comedic play about depression. She is the author of 2 children style books for adults: “More Than Once Upon A Time” and “Betsy’s Sunday School Bible Classics,” and a contributor to the anthology “No Kidding: Women Writer’s on Bypassing Parenthood.” She also writes for "ETHEL'S LAW"(a blog by a 5th grade activist who has turned her girl scout troop into a revolutionary cell.) Betsy was Andy Kindler's Tae Kwon Do sparring partner, and hangs her own drywall. She has 28 teeth.
Aundre the Wonderwoman is a Bay Area comedian who made her debut at Steve Harvey's Comedy House in Dallas, Texas. Since that time, she has been honored as The Funniest Woman in Half Moon Bay, The Funniest Comic on the Block in Oakland, First Place Winner of the Inaugural Russian River Resort Comedy Competition and a semi-finalist in the 2005 San Francisco International Comedy Competition. A lawyer by day, in 2008, she received the Stand Up For Justice Award for her work against the death penalty. Taking on everything from politics to animal lovers, she is smart, she is irreverent and she is FUNNY!
Hannah Doress is an events producer who loves intelligent comedy. As events programmer at San Geronimo Valley Community Center she has produced shows with stellar comic talent including Swami Beyondananda, Sandra Valls, Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad and the San Francisco Mime Troupe, as well as
a variety of events and festivals including the Mexican Arts Festival, the West Marin Himalayan Festival and the Wavy Gravy Summer of Love Revival. Through Hannah Doress Events she is producer of the Earth Day Marin Festival and promotes the Dipsea Hike for Zero Breast Cancer.